Weight Loss Tracker

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm still here, just been a lurker lately :)

So, I just wanted everyone to know that I'm still here. I really can't think of fabulous things to say like some of the other blogs, so I've been more of a lurker than a poster. However, I didn't want you to think that I've completely fallen off the wagon, although I haven't done great. I am still content with how I'm progressing, albeit slow.  As of 12/14/12, I am down 50.5 lbs. I realize that this is very slow compared to some of the success stories I have read, but I'm still going gradually in the right direction so I'm pretty cool with it. Sometimes I wish it would be faster, but then I think that its okay because it will allow my skin more time to adjust. 

My husband and I have just started a new weight lifting routine during football. We decided that we will lift small weights for 25 reps each time there is a fumble, interception or touchdown. I must tell you I never realized exactly how many times that occurs during a game, but my arms are sore enough today to tell you it's A LOT!! :)  We wound up doing 425 reps by the time we fell asleep!!! I really think this is a good exercise though, as it will begin to tone one of my problem areas. I have always been concerned about my triceps and having loose skin, so the reps I'm doing are focusing directly on that.  Since I don't want to only do it during football, we are thinking of incorporating it into our television time when commercials come on. What do you think?

Well, I hope everyone else is doing fantastic in their journey. As for me, I have a fill scheduled for tomorrow which will bring me to 8cc's in a 10cc band. I still am not sure I'm in the "green zone", although several months ago I thought I was.  This is the one thing I wish I could figure out...lol Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I'm still alive! :)

So, its been a minute since I updated...I've had a cold for like 3 weeks and it sucks...haven't felt like doing much. I have been struggling with my weight loss, not making the best choices. I know what I need to do, but haven't been doing very much of it. I finally started walking again, since I've been working so many hours that I didn't even have time for that.  Hopefully this past week will be my last 55+ hour week and I can continue!!! Now I'm back on track again, aftering having gained 7 lbs...I took it off plus .5, so as of today I'm down 43.  I know its slow, but I'm okay with that as long as I'm going in the right direction. It's now Fall and my favorite time of year...no more BBQ's and high calorie drinks...just focused on renewing my goal! Hope all of you are doing well and wish all of the BOOBS safe travels if you are going to Chicago. Hopefully, next year I can go as well!  Here's a pic from the end of August of me, my husband, Mom and Bro-in-law....just to keep you updated on pic progress.

Oh yea...and its football season....soooooooo happy about that!  Here is a pic of me from last year with one of my favorite players from the NY Giants - Ahmad Bradshaw!!!!


Friday, August 31, 2012

Down another 2.5 since 8/17

Soooo, I've been out of touch for 2 weeks, but this time with reason. I had to go to class in Colorado and then added 2 days of vacation to go visit my cousin. I got a bit of altitude sickness out there and then must have caught something on the plan ride home because I have been sick as a dog for the last 5 days...can't stop coughing and head is so stuffed up. Finally went to the doctor's 2 days ago and he said I had a bronchial infection but I caught it early, so am finally starting to feel better today! During the last 2 weeks, I've been pretty good, and am down another 2.5 lbs, bringing my total loss to 42.5. I hope all of you have been doing well!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Blog Abandonment for 2 weeks :)

So, I took a bit of time off from posting on here, not sure why, just didn't feel like typing I guess. Anyways, since I last posted I have lost 2.5 more lbs, so today's total loss is 40 lbs....wooo hooo! I'm Very happy about that because I just couldn't seem to hit that #.  I am losing slowly and am very happy with that considering I've kind of been sabotaging myself :)  In the summer, I am quite busy with BBQ's and the beach, and I am a big fan of tropical drinks so that I feel like I'm away on vacation. I have kind of resigned myself to the fact that I suck at summer!!! It's been this way for many years...I do extremely will come Fall to Spring, but Summer gets here and I have no self control....lol...so for that reason, I have decided that as long as I maintain my current loss or even lose a couple of lbs, I will be very happy. Once mid-September gets here, it on! Some of you might not think this is a good game plan, but for me, it really works...so with that said tonight we are hitting the beach bar and boardwalk! Hope all of you have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Just a couple of pix from Friday's Freestyle Bash in Philly

So, its been a minute since I posted so I figured I would add some pix of a Freestyle (its a type of music...lol) event in South Philly that we attended last Friday. My hubby was one of the performers and we had an amazing time!  I did really well all day food wise that day, but WHOA I can't even count how many alcoholic concoctions we drank...last I remember was some green drink of which I didn't even know the name! Anyway, hope you guys are having a successful week!
 Above pic of me and hubby!
The 2nd pic is me and some friends, including my BFF Tiffany in the colorful shirt!
Last pic is of me and one of my favorite Freestyle groups Pain! By the way, the 2 guys on the left were in our wedding :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

WOOP WOOP - Down .5 :)

I used to say I "only" lost .5, but I have learned that .5 is .5 and its a step in the right direction, so now I'm thrilled with any loss.  I am extremely happy about this particular .5 because I lost 5.5 last week, and usually following a big loss I gain,so WOO HOO! :)  I think I have a pretty good restriction right now, with 7.5 cc in my 10 cc band. It finally stretched, as I thought it would. Let me tell you that those initial 2 weeks of getting stuck on just about everything totally sucked, but now I'm good again and can get my proteins in! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend. I have to go to South Philly tonight for my husband's show, so wish me luck on keeping my alcohol consumption in check! LOL

Friday, July 20, 2012

YAY - it was water weight :)

So, after having a pretty tough week and a half because of being stuck, I am finally doing much much better on the food front and not getting stuck. I have been able to get more types of protein down and my lovely band has been helping with the portion size...that's all I ever wanted....lol...so thanks band! I am down 5.5 lbs this week...woo hoo...its the lowest that I have been since I got the band..down 36.5 lbs and very happy. I am ok with going slow...I just want to make sure I continue in the right direction. I decided to include a pic of me and my lovely hubby from our 4th of July BBQ on 7/7. Just a couple pics to show what I look like at the present time...have a great one people!
Yes, that's my bald baby ;)
 Yes, that's a yummy Margarita...holy calories!!! But...Oh so Good!
And lastly, them trying to get my modeling pose...HA!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Still Tight, but Not Nearly Like Before...

Thanks so much to those of you that have written or commented about my recent experience of being too tight and getting stuck a lot. I am happy to report that I have been able to get more types of food down, although not all. I have been able to get my proteins in and vegetables, so I am definitely happier. I still think I might be a little too tight, but I am going to wait a little while longer to see if it stretches at all, as that has happened to me in the past. Sometimes, I have what  I believe is a good restriction and then within 2 weeks, I don't have it anymore. I do know the importance of getting the right foods in and will definitely schedule for a little unfill if I don't feel a change in a week.  What a journey this is, trying to find the "green zone" :)  Wishing all of you success in this journey of ours!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Boooo...up 2, but think it's water weight...

So...I'm up 2 as of today, but I really do think its water weight because all I've been able to eat is soup for the last few days, with lots of sodium. I think I might be a bit overfilled because all of the sudden come Tuesday, I haven't been able to get much down without being stuck.  Funny thing is, well not so funny, but it seems all the fattening stuff still goes down, just not the stuff that's good for me. I have no problem with cupcakes or chips, but I can't get scrambled eggs, chicken, beef, pasta, or anything else down. This morning I was able to get a 1/2 of a granola bar down so hopefully it is stretching a little bit...this whole getting stuck thing sucks! And it hurts :(  Oh well..if it doesn't get better in a week I'll be traveling again to get some taken out. Hope you have a better weekend than my week...lol...have a great one!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back At it - With Good Restriction (For now :) )

Hello all of you wonderful bloggers and lurkers! It's been a couple of weeks since I posted, so I figure its time to update you on how life has been going for me. Let's see where to start...hmmmm...on 6/29 I weighed in at 295.5, and on 7/6 I weighed in at 294 which is my lowest this time around. I did go get a fill on 7/2 and they put an additional .5 cc's in my band, which now has 7.5 cc's (10 cc band).  I wanted to get it before the 4th of July so that I couldn't go crazy with the food, even though I could still go crazy with the drinks...lol. It helped!  I ate very little on the 4th, although I did have 3 shots of Chocolate Pretzels and about 4 Mike's Hard Lemonades. I did much better than in previous years because we normally play beer pong and I usually end up drinking a lot that way, but it was too stinking hot to be outside, so we had indoor poker and stuff to keep us occupied. I wonder if any of you have the same issue as me...initially I am able to eat a little more after a fill, but then a week later, something kicks in and my restriction seems to be great! Like today for lunch I ate a 1/2 of a hot dog without bun, 1 bite of an egg and a couple of bites of hash browns and was super stuffed! I still feel full and its been 2 hours already. I really hope this is the restriction I was looking for and that it lasts for a long time. Last time I got a fill, I had this feeling for about 2 weeks and then it diminished. I really want this to be the fill that worked! I have been doing pretty good with the exercise as well and getting in a 30-45 minute walk on most days. I am still trying to get all of my water in and am doing well in that area as well. Now, if I could get rid of some of the after dinner snacking/drinks, I think I would be on a great downward spiral. I definitely am starting to feel better physically and am gaining more energy and I have a whole closet full of clothes that fit again, so yay! On another note, my job had me up for a promotion about a month ago and they froze all promotions...booooooo, but I didn't fret and guess what??? Yesterday, my boss called to tell me that they lifted the freeze for a little while and he slipped mine through!!! WOO HOO...nice raise too ;)  This couldn't come at a better time because I just got a new Heating/AC/Hot Water Heater/Insulation and Washer/Dryer in the last month! So good things do come to those who wait and don't freak out...lol  Hope all of you are doing well. I hope to update you this Friday with another loss...Good luck!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Somebody please fix my brain :)

So, its been awhile and I haven't been all that great in my journey. I have been up and down with the last few lbs, currently I'm down, but my official weigh in isn't until tomorrow, so I won't count it just yet! So, when I ask for someone to fix my brain, I am totally serious. I mean, I went and got this surgery to help assist me with my weight loss goals, but yet at every corner I make decisions that ultimately hamper those goals. Why, oh why, can't I just give up the alcoholic concoctions that are hindering my weight loss? Why, oh why, can't I stop eating some of the sweets and things that are hindering my weight loss. For some reason, I am maintaining my current weight loss, but I think that's purely because for the last few weeks I have made sure to get my walks in every day! If not for that, I'm sure I'd be up. I was really happy a few weeks back when I felt like I had good restriction, but as of today, I am again able to eat more than I should be able to eat, so that isn't helping either.  I set up an appointment to discuss my issues with the nursing team and also scheduled another fill for 7/2. I really hope I get to the green zone soon because this is soooo hard. I know everyone says not to compare yourself to anyone else, but it is hard to see so many people losing so much more. I am very happy with what I have lost so far and for the fact that I have so many more clothes that fit, but I really need help with this thing called summer and BBQ's and beverages...lol. I have tried switching to non-alcoholic beverages like the Crystal Light Mojito, Margarita and Appletini mixes, but it just doesn't feel the same. I guess I am just on a rant and need to kick myself in the butt, but if any of you are close by, I wouldn't mind a kick in the "arse" from some of you as well...hope you all are doing better than me!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ughhh...I suck at being good!

Sooo...today I weighed  in and am up 1.5 lbs from last Friday. I haven't been drinking. I only have had 1 glass of wine in 2 weeks, so I'm hoping to attribute it to my "Pyramid" as my girl calls that time of the month...lol...oh well...gotta get back up and push on. I've been walking everyday this week and need to just be better with the "slider" type of foods. I don't think I'm paying enough attention to that, so here goes again!!! Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Well..well...well...is this what some restriction feels like?

So, I'm not sure if I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be or if I hit my "green zone" or not, but let me tell you this...I have eaten very little and feel pretty well satisfied so I think I may just be there! I didn't have breakfast, somehow I drank my coffee and made it to lunch without being hungry. I know having something is important and on most days i do, but I just didn't feel like it today. By lunchtime I was starving, so I made a small sandwich (yes bread!), and didn't know if I would get stuck or not, but didn't. I only ate 3/4 of it and gave the rest to my hubby as I was full!! That never happens, so I don't know if its a fluke or if I'm there! I really hope I'm there because I travel 1.5 hours each way for a fill, so if I was there it would be fab! On another note, I made it through the first day of the weekend without a alcoholic beverage..go me! Today and tonight are going to be a test though, as I have a party.  I also was asked to bring a dessert, the famous Blonde Brownies....so I need to try to steer clear of eating them too! Well..enough rambling...hope you guys are doing good!

Friday, June 1, 2012

6/1/12 Weigh In - :)

Soooooo...I was absolutely horrible over the Memorial Day weekend. We had lots of BBQ's and lots of alcoholic beverage consumption. I ate a burger w/bun, dog w/ bun, steak, corn on the cob, pasta salad, rice & beans, fried bananas and just about anything else I could get my hands on throughout the weekend. I also consumed bloody mary's, beer, smirnoff ice, margaritas, shots, etc. What a way to spend the weekend! Anyway, was pretty pissed at myself for going back to old habits, so kicked myself in the butt on Monday. I stepped up the walking, water, and got back to eating correctly, and guess what???? I am down 3 lbs as of 6/1...woooo hoooo! So, with that said, I am now 33 lbs down since January. I'll take it :) Hope all of you have a great week as well!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


I used to be able to "follow" other banders blogs by clicking on a word "follow" up in the left portion of the screen; however, I no longer see that. Does anyone know how I can follow others now????

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

5th Fill

So, since the last time I had posted, I noticed that I was staying full longer and not able to eat as much at one sitting, but it only lasted for about a week, so today I went for my 5th fill. They gave me an additional .5 cc's, so I now have 7 cc's total in a 10 cc band. I think I notice something already because when I left I had a berry chiller (something like the consistency of a slushy) and I could feel something and its just ice and juice, so I can't wait until I start eating regular food to see how it works. I was doing really well last week and as of 05/25, I had lost a couple of lbs that I had put on so I'm now 30 lbs down. That's an average of 7.5 lbs a month, and I'll take it! This past weekend, however, with it being Memorial Day, I ate lots of stuff and drank lots of alcoholic (empty calorie) beverages, so I was up a few lbs this morning, but since I had my fill today and couldn't eat anything all day...I think I may have taken a bit of that off.  I just couldn't believe that I was able to eat rice, hot dogs, hamburgers, rolls, even steak without any problems at all!  I am pretty sure I am focusing on the whole chewing aspect more, so maybe that's why, but I also was able to eat large portions...ughhhh!  I have decided to try to test myself to see if I can go until 4th of July without drinking. I am going to need all the support in the world on that one, since we go to many many social gatherings which seem to focus around food/drink.  Somehow I have to learn that my weight loss is more important than a drink! On that topic, I can also still drink carbonated beverages, including beer! No problems whatsoever...anyone else able to drink beer? I realize I am all over the place on this post, but my mind keeps jumping around, so hope you can bear with me :) Let me know how you are doing...I would love to hear!  Oh and here's a picture of me from 05/19/12 with my friend Nicole!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MIA & 4th Fill

OK...OK...I've been absent awhile and I here that as a blogger when you are absent you are just supposed to skip that part...lol. Apparently, that isn't me because I feel it necessary to apologize for not being on here more. Actually, I am on here reading others blogs but haven't been keeping up with my own..and I think that is because I have been a bit bad and haven't wanted to face that fact. As if somehow, by not writing it I wouldn't have to be held accountable for it. Well...truth is, that is a big bunch of SH** :) So...here I am and I'm back to give you an update since my 3rd fill. Well,I realized after my 3rd fill that I felt no difference at all...how frustrating! I could still eat anything I wanted...steak, bread, etc...ughhh! I really hoped I would feel something because I am already 3 months out of surgery and still had no restriction at all, which is really hard on the mind. So...I called up and got "another" fill scheduled for May 8th.  I was able to talk them into giving me 1 cc, instead of .5cc. I really hate that I  have to "talk" them into giving me what I really need, but I guess they are trying to make sure I am not overfilled. So anyway, between the 3rd and 4th fills I had gained significantly because I wasn't paying attention to anything that was going in my mouth.  However, as of this past weekend after the fill I did begin to notice something. I do get full a bit quicker and cannot eat certain things, so I may have some sort of restriction going on. I noticed I can't eat certain types of bread at this point, and white meat chicken causes a bit of pain when going down unless I chew very thoroughly. I also notice that unless I chew really good, rice hurts going down. So, I am assuming that I have something going on and am going to give it a little while to see if it helps. I am going to set up a 5th fill for the beginning of June because I don't think I'm quite where I am supposed to be in the "green zone". So, as of today I am now only down 22 lbs, but I do feel better and am doing better with the exercise, so now its all about maintaining brain control, and not go back to mindless eating. I am trying to pay attention to the signs of real hunger versus head hunger.  Does anyone else go from 0 to hungry?? I was talking to my husband and saying how I wasn't hungry at all when we normally eat dinner, and then like 15 minutes later I was starving...what the ???  Anyway, I will try to be more proactive and get on here more to keep you updated...whoever you may be...lol. Good luck in your journeys as well!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

3rd Fill

So...yesterday I had my third fill.  I had it in my mind that I really wanted as much restriction as possible so I almost turned on the crocodile tears so that they would give me a more aggressive fill than previous times. It worked :)  They were only going to give me 1 cc and I talked them into giving me 2cc's, so after my 3rd fill I now have 5.5 cc's in a 10 cc band. I really hope that this time I feel SOME sort of restriction because to-date I have felt no difference at all.  I also talked to the person that administered the fill and she had just returned from a lap-band conference where she heard that some doctor's put 4cc in the band during surgery, so she was going to bring that info back to my doctor and hope that he becomes a little less conservative. I have to tell you that it is extremely difficult relying on sheer willpower to do this. I know that the band is supposed to be a tool and you aren't supposed to rely on it, but at some point I have to think that it will work; otherwise, why did I get this surgery to begin with?  I probably won't be able to tell if I have any restriction at all, until I am able to take solid foods, which isn't until Saturday.  I surely hope I at least have some. I know I probably won't be in the "green zone", but even if I have a little restriction I will be happy to have some assistance. Hope all of you banders are doing well!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Walking Weekend

So, I decided to take advantage of some beautiful weather we are having, and me and Hubby went to the Boardwalk to get our walk on! WOW...my foot now hurts, but we did get 6 miles in. I wasn't sure I was going to make it, but I did.  I was very happy to get it out of the way.  Hope everyone else is doing well on their journey. On another note, I wasn't the greatest on the alocoholic beverage front. I really need to get those Mike's Hard Lemonades out of my house before I drink them all! They are so tasty, but seriously are like 180 calories or some crazy #.  I had a sweet slip last night too, but have recovered and am planning a Weight Watcher Turkey Meatloaf and Green Beans for dinner. It is sooooo good, but is much healthier than regular. I checked the scale and it looks like the walk may have helped to offset some of those snacks/drinks, so time to focus as I know I am the only one that can help this band to work!

Friday, April 13, 2012

WOO HOO - Down 3.5

OK, so this is a pretty big accomplishment for me since it was my birthday last Friday and I made some poor food choices and as well as had some yummy alcoholic concoctions!  I had a Dirty Martini, a Mojito, Wine, Champagne Punch, and some Mike's Hard Limeade.  Not too mention I did allow my self, not 1 but 2 cupcakes over the weekend...now because of all these things I knew I had to get my butt back in gear on Sunday, so I started pounding the water and upping my exercise, and guess what??? It really does work...lol..who knew that they were telling the truth the whole time. If you get moving and begin to watch what you eat, the scale does move. Mind you, its moving because of me keeping on track for the last 5 recovery days, otherwise I know it would probably have gone in the opposite direction. I really can't wait to have a restriction though because willpower is a a hard thing to use to lose the weight. If I had the willpower, I probably wouldn't have needed this band to begin with!! I go for my 3rd fill on 4/23..and really can't wait because right now I have 3.5cc's in a 10cc band and I feel no restriction at all.  Well..I'm going to go plan some healthy dinner and snack options for the week, which is something I never do...uhhhh plan? Really?  Maybe that is the key too...we shall see.  Good luck with the weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Great Water Bottle w/ Tracking

So, I figured I'd let you guys know of a really cool water bottle that tracks how much water you get in.  It holds 24oz, but only has a line up to 20oz, but the cool thing is that there is a counter that you slide over when you finish drinking one. It counts up to 6.  Comes in a lot of colors too and is pretty cheap on Amazon.

You can look here: Thermos Water Bottle

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

OK...I need help. I know that every person is different and every doctor is different with their fills, but I am going on my 3rd fill and I don't really feel anything at all...at least I don't think so. I believe I am still in Bandster Hell and would really like to have some sort of restriction. I am so jealous of those of you that have had a fill during the initial placement of the band! I have 3.5cc's in a 10cc band.  Does anyone know when the majority of the people feel a restriction? I am not hungry right now and have been very good all day, including getting my exercise in, but right now its sheer willpower getting me through this, not any help from my little band friend...lol.  Can anyone give me any advice or info? I really thought I did my homework, but somehow I never had heard anything about how long it takes to get the right restriction...
I actually made it through a day doing everything right!!! WOO HOO! It's the little things that excite me.  I drank all my water, ate well and did exercise. Hoping to have many more days like that and then see the fruits of my labor.  Yesterday, I went for a walk with my coworkers and we normally walk for about 1/2 hour at a nice pace, but for some reason they switched it up on me last minute...no time to back out...lol..  We wound up walking a trail through the woods for 40 minutes...might not sound like much to you, but when you are going through different terrain versus walking on flat pavement...its like WHOA!  So, I made it through, breathing heavier than normal of course, and when I finally made my way back to my desk, I was comatose for a bit. :)  Anyway, I felt really good afterword. Who would have thought?  But, for some reason by later that evening I felt like I got run over by a mac truck..I guess it was using a bunch of muscles that I didn't even know I had. I wasn't sure how I would feel when I woke up this morning, but today I feel fine, so I will be walking again today...hopefully not through the woods though!!! LOL Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sooooo...what started out as great day and where I was all gung ho...went downhill quickly.  I did, however, get the dreaded exercise in, so hopefully that helps to offset some of the things I did.  Someone had given me a gift certificate to a fabulous local restaurant, so me and my hubby decided to go out and eat. I picked a semi-healthy dish of fish (albeit francaise style) and green beans and mashed potatoes, along with a salad. I didn't eat nearly any of it, but turns out one of my girlfriends is a bartender there!!! So, needless to say, one dirty martini and Mojito later, we left. I guess it could have been worse, but here's the kicker...I went home and decided to have a large glass of champagne leftover from my birthday and some cookies (which were horrible by the way). Why does this have to be such a struggle? Well..anyway, I'm back on it today and am getting my walk in and being very good. Hopefully, I can remain strong this evening because that is when my evil twin comes out and takes over :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Well..I have my first follower..YAY! LapBandGirl..thanks for joining! 

OK...so my birthday weekend is over, Easter is over, no more excuses. Time for me to get out there and start moving. Does anyone else think that Exercise was created by the Devil? Maybe it is some sort of purgatory for some unknown thing that I've done!  I hate to exercise. I mean really hate to exercise!! However, I know if I get my butt up and start moving then it will help dramatically during my "Bandster Hell".  So, I have told some people at work to force me to go on a walk with them every day, no excuses! Let's see how that works out. I'll let you know if any of them have black eyes when they try to force me ;)

One other thing I am now going to try to be diligent with is drinking my water. I absolutely know, from Weight Watcher days, that if you drink your water, you lose! Plain..simple. Why, then, is it so hard to get all that dreaded water in?  I just read somewhere...possibly in another blog...that I am supposed to drink .5 ounces of water for every lb...what the?  I will need to drink like 151.5 ounces!!! I am struggling with 64, so I think I will work the 64 and increase as much as I can, but 151.5??? Really?? OK, someone please tell me if that is wrong because I really would like to know.

Good luck with your journeys!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Soooooo...don't know how to design a blog...

Well...I've been working on this blog for a few hours now, and I've come to the understanding that I am definitely NOT a computer programmer! I'm not sure if I've done anything correctly and don't even know if people can see it! :)  I would really appreciate if someone would leave me a comment just to let me know if they actually see this thing. If not, I guess the blog will have to serve as a place for me to come talk to myself ;)

1st Post - 2 1/2 Months Post Op

So, let me start by introducing myself and taking you back to when I first had surgery. My name is Nikki and I live in South Jersey near Atlantic City in the USA.  I started pre-op on 1/12/12 and lost 15 lbs before my surgery on 1/26/12.  I have recently started reading other blogs and realize so many more things now than before I had the surgery. I was a planner and thought that I knew everything that was going to happen as I went into the surgery and post-op, but I now realize just how much I didn't know.  Let me be clear about one thing, and that is that each and every bander is completely different, along with their doctors.  My doctor didn't put any type of fill in my band during surgery, as he stated that the stomach area would already be swollen from the surgery so it would be difficult to eat regardless.  OK..I wish I had started this blog a many others which is pre-op, but since I didn't I will try to give you my best recollection of how it went down and also give you an introduction to me and my life.

Here are 2 pics at what I believe was my highest weight of 345, but not exactly sure...couldn't find too many...

The below is a pic from September 2010...not exactly sure of the weight in that one, but was smaller than above.

About me....I have been pretty big for most of my life, including childhood. I always say that I was born at 9.2 lbs and never stopped getting bigger!  I have tried multiple diets/lifestyle changes, what have you...and none lasted for a long period of time.  I have always been a fun and outgoing person and have lots of very good friends. I have never had a problem with having a boyfriend, albeit the wrong ones, until recently.  I found my soulmate on Valentine's Day 2009 and we were recently married on 11/11/11.  Everyone asks me why I didn't wait to have my wedding until after I lost the weight, and I think..what for?  I know that he loves me for me and I know I don't look absolutely horrible, so it wasn't really something I thought needed to happen. Here is a picture of me and my husband on our wedding day.

My main reason for losing the weight is to be healthier and able to do more sports that I like to do without feeling like an elephant is standing on my lungs after 5 minutes!  I am very fortunate that I don't have any co-morbid health issues. My cholesterol is 154, my blood sugar is great and my blood pressure is 112/71.  I mainly want to feel better about myself, fit in a plane seat/amusement park ride, without the thought that someone is pissed because they have to sit next to the big person. I really like softball/volleyball, but get too out of breath, so can't really play. I do, however, when on vacation go snorkeling/scuba diving. I grew up in the water and continue to swim like a fish!

This is a photo of me and my friend Jamie at my Bachelorette party in October 2011.

I started this journey 8/31/11 and due to insurance constraints had to wait several months before being approved to have the surgery.  My highest weight was 345, not sure exactly when, but I had taken some weight off with Weight Watchers.  At one point, I had lost 80 lbs and was down to 265, but like so many other times, I gained most of it back.

Pre-Op 01/12/12: Weight 327
So on 1/12 of this year I began this process.  My doctor had me on a 1000 calorie diet that consisted mainly of high protein drinks and threw in the occasional lean cuisine for something to chew. Honestly, the first few days were the hardest, but after that, it wasn't that bad.  They say if your liver is enlarged when the doc goes to have the surgery, that the doctor may not operate, and for me that wasn't an option so I followed the diet strictly.

01/26/12: Weight 312
OK..lets talk about the day of surgery itself. I have to tell you that so many people on here say that there surgery was relatively painless and they felt pretty good. I, however, did not have the same luck. I was supposed to have surgery at around 10:30 in the morning, so did not have anything to eat/drink since the evening before. I wound up not going back for surgery until approximately 1:30pm and was a bit hungry, but when they brought me back to the surgery area, they started talking to me, put some stuff in my catheter in my hand and then I was out.  I woke up a few hours later, with not too much pain at all.  I was in Post-Op and they had me pretty well drugged.  I knew that they told me that I woud need to get up and walk within 4 hours of surgery and I made them get me up and start walking within 2 hours....no problems at all.  So, I sent my husband and mother home at approximately 8pm since I knew there was nothing they could do for me. I was still in Post-Op and was supposed to be moved to a room on the Bariatric floor, but the hospital was overcrowded that evening and I got to spend the lovely evening in Post-Op the entire night...I was the only one in there.  Approximately 10pm I started having gas pains, not pains from the incision.  I knew about the gas pains, as I had gallbladder surgery previously, but I had no idea how many and how often they would happen.  My gas pains were awful, and I can usually handle pain really well.  I think that since the Post-Op people weren't as familiar with my type of surgery as the Bariatric Unit, they didn't realize just how often I should have been up and walking, so needless to say the pain got progressively worse.  They got me up and walking, but the pains were so bad and they would shoot from my stomach to my chest (felt like bricks on my chest) and then they would expel through my shoulder (felt like what I assume someone feels like if they are bludgeoned...lol)...well...maybe not that bad, but pretty awful.  So, the team was really great with me and gave me lots of drugs, however, the drugs only helped the incision pains and not the gas pains, so I never slept the entire night.  Do not let this discourage you though, as I am apparently one of few that had the gas pains so severely. If asked would I do it again, yes i would..in a heartbeat. The next day the pains subsided more and more because I made sure to walk as much as possible. At 1pm the next day, they moved me into the Bariatric Unit and I guess they felt bad for everything I went through because they gave me a lovely end suite, with a beautiful view of the courtyard :)  I went home that evening, with lots of drugs and prescriptions in hand.

Here is a picture of me and my husband in March 2012...I think my face looks thinner at least....

I didn't feel to great the first few days, but it got progressively better and by a week out, I felt pretty good because the gas pains subsided and the only thing you could feel is the incision pains occasionally if you didn't take the drugs on schedule.  I was still very tired, but was starting to walk more. I definitely was unable to eat/drink much during the first 2 weeks following surgery.  I definitely made sure to get all the protein and water in though...even though I felt like I had to drink constantly :)

I followed my doctor's regimen closely for the next 6 weeks...introducing the next step on a bi-weekly basis as instructed. First Full Liquid Diet 2 weeks, then Mushies 2 Weeks, then Soft Food 2 weeks, by then though I could definitely eat whatever I wanted...no restriction at all. This is what I have heard other's refer to as Bandster's Hell. Apparently that is what they call it until you feel your restriction and it is actually helping you with portion control, instead of you relying solely on your own willpower to do it. 

I had my first fill on 3/12.  They put in 2 cc's in a 10 cc band.  A week later, when i reintroduced regular food, I felt no different.  What the? I didn't understand. I thought I was supposed to feel something...receive some sort of help, but No. I didn't.  My doctor is very restrictive with fills, so technically I was supposed to wait another 6 weeks before the next one, but I was able to somehow talk them into a fill 3 weeks later, so I had my second fill on 4/3, and additional 1.5 cc's.  As of today, as I read regular foods, I do not feel much different. I don't know if I feel some difference or not...but I was able to again ask for a fill a bit earlier than usual and I have another one scheduled for 4/23.  I believe I am still in bandster hell because I can technically eat whatever I want and have to rely on myself to make the correct choices.  That is extremely difficult. If it was easy, then I would have done that without having to have the lap band as a tool! 

Anyway, I am currently down 24 lbs, so I am definitely happy about that, but I know it would have been more if I paid closer attention to the types of foods I have been consuming and would have cut out the alcoholic beverages. That is my goal for now...leave the alcohol alone until Memorial Day!  It is wasted calories and does nothing for my weight loss journey and it goes right through the band!  I just celebrated my birthday this past weekend, so I also need to get myself back on track food wise. Nobody said it would be easy, so now it is up to me to do the things I need to do to start losing.  I can't wait until I finally get a restriction and find my green zone.  I must say I am truly inspired by another blogger's journey and read her blog from beginning to end this past weekend, so if you get a chance check out... http://cheeseandsunkist.blogspot.com/  Unbelievable journey and success story!  It is absolutely amazing how much we sound alike. She had her surgery 1/27/09, mine was 1/26/12. She started at 327, and so did I. She is outgoing, as am I and even our Myers Briggs Personality tests are only off by one letter!

Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up of where I am on this journey. Hope to hear from some of you so that we can support each other. I need all the help I can get! Good luck to all of you whether you are considering surgery or already have had it!